Wildflower 2017 Winner

It’s very rare that you get an “aha!” moment half way through a meal. At Wildflower such “aha!” moments are frequent. Wildflower is not just an award winning restaurant, it’s arguably the prettiest restaurant in WA, sitting in its designer glass “box” atop the heritage listed State Buildings.

The views are epic, day or night. During the day, there’s a Chicago-esque view of city buildings and rooftops with river glimpses. At night it’s the lights of the city and the ever changing lightshow at Council House, just opposite.

As stunning as the outlook is it is always going to take second place to the dishes in this ultra-modern flagship restaurant of the COMO At The Treasury hotel, which has just been voted Australasia’s best in the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice awards.

Wildflower measures up on every front. Dishes like Rottnest Island scallops with soured Geraldton Wax cream and sea parsley deliver adrenalin kicks that leave the diner in absolutely no doubt they’re in Western Australia.

That’s when the penny drops that it’s just a no-brainer to use a six season indigenous culinary calendar and to harvest the vast food bowl that nature provided on our very doorstep. And to throw in wildflowers as well.

It took Jed Gerrard – a humble home-grown chef with loads of empathy and a lifelong passion for nature – to open our eyes to our edible surroundings and the way our first peoples had been utilising the rich bounty of their lands for tens of thousands of years.

He’ll bake carrots in wet paper bark for three hours. He’ll sous vide an egg yolk for four days. He’ll forage for sea blight. But most importantly he loves Western Australia and wholeheartedly believes the unique flavours of Perth come through in his cooking.

He’s a chef who “gets it”. Gets what exactly? Bringing to the “office”, all of his life experiences – his early years spent on a farm in Balingup, growing up in New Zealand and then his travels and cheffing gigs in Canada and Normandy.

There is a huge distinction between technically expert cooking and the school which subscribes to putting something of yourself and your surroundings into the dish. There’s plenty of the former and few of the latter. Jed Gerrard is definitely one of the latter.

And, if you think that sounds like someone’s getting all a bit cheffy for his own good, try his Berkshire with sour quandong or his wood grilled beef with salt bush or his kangaroo with smoked tomato and eucalyptus. They are stylish, subtle, amazing, without artifice, unpretentious and looking like works of art.

Aha!

Read Restaurant Review

The views are epic, day or night. During the day, there’s a Chicago-esque view of city buildings and rooftops with river glimpses. At night it’s the lights of the city and the ever changing lightshow at Council House, just opposite."

Gail Williams, Reviewer